I am the guest editor of the (Australian version of the) MSDN Flash for next week. I expound on a view I’ve held for a while – namely that two of the most important attributes of a good developer are boastfulness and laziness.
Boastful, in that a good developer wants to share learnings with as many other interested people as possible. Lazy, in that a good developer wants to avoid doing things repetitively or even redoing work someone else has done. It’s also the sort of lazy that would prefer to spend eight hours writing and perfecting a text import routine than doing two hours of data entry, even for a one-off job.
A great way to encourage and exercise these two essential skills is in the developer community. Of course, this means different things to different people, but generally there is somewhere for everyone.
Community User Groups
All around the country, there are groups of like-minded individuals that meet to talk about a range of technical topics, from.NET to SQL to infrastructure to Silverlight and a bunch of places in between. The best way to find a local group is to go to http://www.technicalcommunity.com/ and search based on location and technology from the front page.
Many organisations have a thriving internal technical community with regular meetings and presentations, an active mailing list and great exchange of ideas. If you’re interested in establishing such a group within your organisation, please reply to this mail and we’ll chat about how I can help you.
Of course, there are lots of places online that developers (and other technical folk) hang out. The MSDN forums are a great place to search for answers and ask and answer questions. In Australia, we also have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook.
A good example of the community helping the community is Michael Kordahi’s new link blog MakeAwesomeWeb. With contributions from some of our leading community members, this is a must-visit site for anyone doing next-generation web development.
It’s often hard to keep up with the news. Michael and I publish a weekly(ish) podcast called FranklySpeaking which spends about 30 minutes discussing current technology and often interviewing someone interesting from the local or international community.
While we’d like to think we’re wherever you’d like us to be, you may have some suggestions as to how or where we can help you develop your boastfulness and laziness. Let us know what we can do and we’ll try to make it happen.